Alpha Lobbyist

The Chamber of Commerce made headlines last year for spending hundreds of millions of dollars on projects that were not necessarily in the best interests of its members. Big health insurers contributed $20 million to battle health care reform, though many of the Chamber's members would have benefited from a drop in health care costs. The Chamber's anti-science stance on climate change drove away several big-name members, including Apple, Inc. and Exelon, and put other emissions-conscious industries on edge.

In a Washington Monthly profile, James Verini exposes the Chamber's president and CEO, Tom Donahue, as, "for all his opposition to federal oversight ... a quintessential creature of Washington":

Like the head of any bureaucracy or agency, he measures his success far less by results than by the size of his budget. That's why the Chamber's agenda hews so closely to that of its largest contributors. It's also why, even in front of dues payers ... Donohue is happy to trumpet how much money the Chamber is taking from them. Those funds don't need to lead to accomplishments; they are the accomplishments.

Read the full story at the Washington Monthly.


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Nicole Allan is a former senior editor at The Atlantic.

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